collection development in cyberspace

Karl Bridges cfkfb at
Fri May 30 08:11:22 EDT 1997

> ..we intend to use our student workers as collectors (they work
> >> with
> >> the web as they assist in the lab and their contacts with "surfers"
> >> are
> >> much more common than ours) as well as soliciting imput from
> students
> >> to
> >> a much greater degree than before...
>         That is an interesting idea I had not encountered before.  How
> are you
> planning to implement this policy?  Are the student workers going to
> have the last word, or are you setting up some sort of review of their
> collected sites?  Also how are you going to solicit the students to
> input suggestions?

	This really concerns me.  I have nothing against users suggesting web 
sites (much in the same way that users recommend books), however, to 
turn the collection of web sites over to students is a problem.
  There's no way that you can call this kind of activity "collection 
development".  Students are not trained to evaluate web sites or 
content.  This seems to be the same as turning your collection 
development for printed materials over to students.  In a month you 
have a library that consists of comic books, pornography, and heavy 
metal magazines.  
   Development of a useful web site in the library environment needs 
to be done by trained subject specialists who have the education, 
training, and experience to properly evaluate and organize the 
information in a useful manner.  To say that some freshman student can 
do a better job than a trained library professional with subject area 
graduate degrees is insulting.

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